British Science Week 2023

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As mentioned at the club, Simon, G4WQG, the RSGB Area 10 Rep. and I attended Swindon UTC to not only represent SDARC, but also the RSGB at the start of British Science Week.

We were demonstrating Amateur Radio and RF communications to the local Swindon University Technical College students and tutors by setting up the Special Event Station, GB2BSW.

We operated both Voice and Data modes whilst talking to the students, many of whom were extremely engaged with what we were doing and plenty of questions being asked.

We used the club Kenwood TS-590S, set to 50w, and a 40m inverted V antenna, made by myself fed with a 1:1 Balun at the centre. The antenna was mounted on a 10m Spiderpole, which wasn’t fully extended and was bungeed to the stair handrail at the back of the college. The antenna performed absolutely brilliantly and tuned perfectly and amazingly across all bands using the TS-590S inbuilt ATU. It provide a 1:1 match across 80m, 40m, 30m, 20m, 17m, 15m 12m, and 10m, which was incredible.

On FT8 we were being heard out in Australia and across to the East coast of America by numerous stations.

We worked 64 QSOs, 23 Countries of which 19 have been confirmed on QRZ so far.
Furthest DX was Japan, JE1NVD on FT8.

We also worked several UK stations on Phone on 40m which the students found particularly interesting.

We had an absolutely fantastic day and were greeted well by the staff, tutors, and students. At the end of the day, we had a discussion about returning and possibly providing some interactive electronic construction during the day. Hopefully will be a good ongoing relationship with the college and inspire some of the local youths.

Dom, 2E0WHQ

Construction Competition 2023 – Winners

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Congratulations to all the winners of the Construction Competition.

  • 2E0CYS – Peter – Function Generator (KIT)
  • G4OED – Graham – Morse Key (Homebrew)
  • G0EPC – Paul – 9:1 Balun (Antenna)

Paul also brought in a 160M and 2M radio he built many years ago to show.

Rigs For Sale

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The Swindon & District Amateur Radio Club is upgrading its current radio equipment and currently has for sale the following radio equipment:

  • Kenwood TS590S – HF/Plus 6m – £590
    • 100W output,
    • 2 antenna outputs,
    • Built-in ATU,
    • Built-In Soundcard (USB) for data modes.
    • Power Lead,
    • Microphone.
    • No box,
    • A printed manual can be provided if necessary but can be downloaded online.
  • Kenwood TS2000E – £890
    • HF/VHF/UHF (HF/50/144/430) Shack-in-a-box.
    • 100W/50W output,
    • 4 antenna output,
    • Built-in ATU.
    • Satellite operation.
    • Radio,
    • Power Lead,
    • Microphone,
    • No box,
    • A printed Manual can be provided if necessary but can be downloaded online.
  • Kenwood TS2000X – £970
    • HF/VHF/UHF/23cm (HF/50/144/430/1200)
    • Ultimate Shack-in-a-box.
    • 100W/50W/10W output,
    • 5 antenna outputs,
    • Built-in ATU.
    • Satellite operation.
    • Radio,
    • Power Lead,
    • Microphone,
    • OPTO isolator for data modes,
    • Breakout box for separate PTT & ALC I/O, No box,
    • A printed manual can be provided if necessary but can be downloaded online.

If anyone is interested in any of the above radios, then please contact Dom. Sensible offers may be considered. Remember that these club radios have had very little use, when compared with a normal radio and are of a known origin when comparing them to other similar radios on the market.

Collection from Swindon only! We want you to be happy with your purchase and therefore would like you to see it before you buy it and take it safely home with you. 🙂

Demos could be arranged on request.


Dom, 2E0WHQ
Chairman SDARC

Worked All Squares (2023)

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This year’s club competition is about to begin. We will be running two competitions. The first to be released is Worked All Squares.

Work as many LARGE SQUARES as you can during the Award period, to encourage some competitive fun playing radio, to raise the on-air profile of the club, and to reward members making use of their radio gear. A large square is the first four characters of a Maidenhead locator, eg: IO91.

You will need to upload your ADIF log from time to time so that we can process it and update the league tables. We will automatically calculate who is a member from our master list so you don’t need to worry about how you log it.

If you are an SWL and have yet to gain your licence, you can still take part!

For more information visit the dedicated page available within the menu item “Worked All…”

Good luck!

Members’ Construction Competition Rules 2023

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Soldering Iron

We are holding the Construction Competition on March 9th!

The aim of this annual contest is to encourage members to build either radio equipment or ancillary items which enhance their radio operations and to exhibit these to encourage others to follow their example.

Entries can include any radio-related equipment or software, for example, Morse oscillator, test unit, QRP rig, computer/radio interface, PSU, Tx/Rx, linear, antenna, ATU…..

Entries can have been built at any time, but to be accepted as an entry, they must not have been entered in any previous SDARC construction contest.

If YOU have built something that helps you operate, why not enter it?  Remember it is not necessarily the most complex equipment that wins!

Provide sufficient details with your entry to help judges understand the purpose and operation of the entry…. ”Sell” the concept and its usefulness through your description, diagrams, circuits etc!

The contest will have five principal categories:-

Homebrew – This will be for equipment built completely by the club member. (If the equipment is a magazine project with a PCB available, then, the PCB may be used.)

Kit – This will be for equipment built from a kit. The kit should require some soldering to the component level.

Hybrid – This will be for homebrew equipment which also contains one or more kits.

Antenna – This will be for special homebrew antenna systems. For this type of contest entry, the member will just need to provide photographs of the antenna together with a specification, a drawing, and details of the construction. A list of countries worked with the antenna should also be provided.

Software – This category will be for radio-related software. This can be either, a new piece of “stand-alone” software, or a piece written to add extra features to some existing software.

In addition, three Constructor categories may be brought to bear:-

Novice – This will be for those members who have not previously built or exhibited any equipment.

GeneralThis will be for those members who have built and entered previously.

Professional – This may be awarded to experienced constructors whose work is of an exceptional standard.

The number of Awards will reflect the scope of entries and may include awards made to deal with tie-break situations.

The judges’ decisions on all the awards are final.

Please complete an entry form beforehand so you can bring it on the night. You can download the entry form here.

Swindon wins the double!

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Swindon Radio Club won both the 144FMAC and the 432FMAC for 2022. A fantastic effort by the entire team.

In the 2m contest we scored more than 2nd and 3rd place combined. We didn’t quite achieve the same thing on the 432 version although pretty close.

Club Christmas Dinner 2022

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Christmas is just around the corner!!!!

Following successful visits to the Harvester in Blunsdon in recent years, we are again booked in there for our Christmas Dinner and Awards evening.

This year’s date for your diary is Thursday 8th December. We are nominally booked for 19.30 for 19.45.

You have a choice of a 2 course menu for £16.99 or a 3 course one for £19.99.

Please see the menu of dishes which you will need to decide on at booking.

A minimum deposit of £5 per person on the initial booking or you can choose the pay the full amount.


Summer @ Barbury Castle

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Over the summer we moved our Thursday nights to Barbury Castle. Here are a few photos that members have taken over the 2 months.

VHF NFD 2022

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We took part in the VHF NFD for the first time in 3 years due to the dreaded C. We decided to enter 6/4/2/70/23 across multiple categories. We made a plan and that plan rapidly started to fall apart as time got closer. However, in the end, everything we planned came to fruition, and despite poor conditions, and lower than usual activity, we all had a fun weekend.

Details of QSO/Band data will follow once we have extracted the logs from the computers.

A big thanks to the members who turned up to help set up, operate and tear down. Next year we need to separate the stations to reduce interstation interference.

The question remains, is this contest being killed off by the Tuesday evening contests where you can work more stations with less effort in a couple of hours?

Here are some photos of the event taken by Marc and James.

RSGB May 144 MHz Contest 2022

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This past weekend SDARC took part in the RSGB 144 MHz May contest. We ran 3 stations from the site and operated them for 6 hours each but spread over the 24 hours. There was a contingent of around 15 members helping to set up and/or teardown. The weather was very kind to us and fun was had by all. I expect everyone learned something that weekend as lots of tips and tricks about all kinds of things were being shared throughout the weekend.

The club entered a multi-op entry as M4W whilst Andy (M1G) and James (M1N) entered single op entries. As in previous years, there was a battle between Andy and James to see who could score the most points. Given both were using the same hardware and software, it came down to operator style, operating slots and a little luck. At the end of the contest, they both had the same number of mults and a QSO count separated by 4. With raw totals, Andy pipped James. Let’s see if it changes after adjudication.

A solid effort from the M4W team where some of the operators had not computer logged before.

Thank you to all the club members who took photos and supplied them for upload.